How to Care for a Kid’s Long Hair

How to Care for a Kid’s Long Hair

If your child wants to grow their hair long, a good thing to know is that hair grows about a half inch every month, which is about six inches a year (give or take) some will have slightly more hair growth and some a little less; the rate a person’s hair grows is dependent on a lot of things, but mainly on the person’s overall health.  In order for your child’s hair to grow healthy, you need to ensure they are eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of healthy liquids like juice and water, and getting plenty of exercises every day.  Also, once their hair starts getting to the length they want it, it is essential that their long hair not be shampooed every day, this will only cause the hair to become dry and get split ends; all that is really needed is a warm rinse every other day in between shampoos, massaging the scalp with your fingertips (avoid using fingernails) and this will be fine for keeping their long hair looking healthy.  

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The ends of your child’s long hair should be trimmed at least a half inch every month to keep their hair healthy and avoid getting split ends which are the result of constant styling and combing. A half inch isn’t really going to make a difference in the length, as the hair will grow back right away; however, if you wait longer in between trimmings you will end up losing some hair length due to the split ends may become worse and require a trim of more than a half an inch.

The number one thing to remember, when caring for your child’s long hair is how to comb or brush it; and as it is inevitable, how to comb through tangled hair. When brushing tangled hair, never start at the top and attempt to work your way down as this will only create more tangles and you will have a child that is crying out in pain!  Using a wide tooth comb, a paddle or boar-bristle brush when the hair is dry is the best way to removed tangles; as well as to remember to always brush or comb the hair from the bottom up. Do not use your “vent brush” as it has tiny teeth that can also snag the hairs causing even more pain.

Here are some tips to remember on how to care for your child’s long hair:

  • Be sure you are using the correct shampoo/conditioner for your child’s hair type; don’t use shampoo intended for oily hair on fine hair that isn’t oily because it can cause the hair to be limp and flat.
  • Do not rinse hair with hot water, it will cause hair cuticle damage.  Rinse hair in cool to lukewarm water only.
  • Do not rub wet hair with a towel, or allow it to dry in a towel turban.  This will cause breakage over time.
  • Use a brush with natural bristles and a wide tooth comb to detangle wet hair; also, use a detangling spray to help in combing wet hair to prevent hair breakage.
  • Clean brushes by soaking in warm water and shampoo for five minutes and be sure to remove any excess hairs from the brush.
  • Try and avoid using the hairdryer and other heated styling tools every day.  When putting hair in a ponytail use only snag-proof elastics.
  • If your child goes swimming in a chlorinated pool, lake, or ocean, be sure to use a mild-cleansing shampoo to remove any saltwater, chlorine, and pollutants from their hair.
  • When out in the sun, never neglect your child’s scalp.  It can also be sunburned and very painful if it does sunburn. Spray a leave-in conditioner on their scalp and rub some jojoba oil on the scalp if it is feeling dry and itchy.  
  • Long hair should be deep-conditioned once a week.  

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There are other things to take into consideration when caring for your child’s long hair.  Such as the child’s hair type—straight, curly, oily, or dry, and their activity level, you will need to adjust the type of shampoo and conditioner that is being used.  

The hair on your child’s head consists of three layers, the cuticle or outside layer protects two inner layers.  When your child’s hair is shiny it means that it is healthy because the cuticle is lying flat and reflecting the light as it hits it.  When the hair has damaged the scales of the cuticles are separated creating the hair to dry out and unable to protect the underlying layers of the hair, which causes the hair to break and appear dull.  

When a person has straight or curly hair this also affects how shiny the hair is, too. The natural oil on the hair is called Sebum, and this oil covers straight hair better than curly hair which gives straight hair the appearance of having more shine.   

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So now that you are informed about the long and short of caring for your child’s long hair, there is a lot more involved than just “not getting a haircut”.  It really is simpler and easier to manage short hair because short hair doesn’t require the additional conditioning that long hair requires, nor the special brushes.  You might want to go over all the pros and cons of growing long hair with your child as well and they might decide to get that haircut after all!  Either way, good luck and happy brushing if long hair remains their preference; after all, long hair is very beautiful if taken care of correctly.

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